Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Modified Morschauser ‘19th Century’ Wargames Rules

I have been thinking about adding additional types of Unit to the current list of four to make the rules suitable for fighting colonial battles that involve native troops. These additional Units would be:
  • Native Infantry armed with muskets
  • Native Infantry armed with spears and swords
  • Native Cavalry
  • Native Artillery
The revised Unit Data Table would look like this:

The Native Infantry and Cavalry Units would move faster than their opponents, but would be inferior except when fighting in Close Combat. The Native Artillery would be slower and have less range than their opponents.


  1. Hi Bob,

    Warning! Your addition of Natives got me thinking again.

    The following is in the context of the Sudan or Zululand where I presume your Colonial action is taking place.

    Why are "natives" always assumed to be better at hand-to-hand combat?

    Training, no.
    Equipment, no.
    Morale, no.

    So why do "just about every rule set", see Note 1, make natives more effective in hand-to-hand combat?

    Non-native troops are just as determined to not die as the natives.

    Is this a rules mechanism to overcome the usual non-native firepower advantage?

    I thought sheer numbers or use of terrain were meant to offset firepower? Perhaps I am wrong. Again.

    Given the stated context, my opinion is that hand-to-hand combat should be even up between figures or stands or whatever. Native numbers or use of terrain must be used to address the firepower issue.

    The men on both ends of the stick were brave and fought equally hard for their lives. I do not see the need to make one side or the other intrinsically more powerful in hand-to-hand combat.

    Your firepower differences I agree with.

    Let the comments begin!


    Note 1. A Glittering Generality. My term for the rules I have read, used, or encountered. Your opinion may differ. Feel free to heap scorn on this poor obviously ill-educated soul as you feel necessary.

  2. Jim,

    As ever you make some very pertinent comments.

    My rational for making the Natives more effective in Close Combat in this instance was to even things up a bit. It was also to reflect the fact that they were generally more of them on the colonial battlefield. I could have twice as many Native figures on the tabletop and keep the Close Combat system as it is, with all Infantry Units having a Close Combat Power of 3. The extra numbers would even things up … but at the moment I don’t have enough single figure Native Infantry bases to follow that option. If I did, I would have no real or effective argument to counter your suggestion. In fact, in order to maintain the essential simplicity of the rules, I would have to allocate a Close Combat Power of 3 to all Infantry Units. Like so many things in life, my thoughts were influenced more by expediency than by anything else.

    Thanks for the feedback … and don’t be surprised if what I end up with is what you suggest. After all, what I wrote were only some thoughts that I wanted to share; they were not anything that was set in stone.

    All the best,


    PS. You do yourself a disservice if your think that your comments are worthy of scorn or reflect any lack of education. They do not. They have always been of great help to me because they challenge – in a very constructive way – what I may have thought and written. A ‘critical friend’ is always a good one. Many thanks for being one on this and previous occasions.

  3. Hey Bob,

    Note 1 was firmly tongue in cheek stuff. Sorry if it didn't come across that way.

    I was really fishing for comments from your other readers too!

    I forgot to mention previously I like the single figure look of the game. I just got my 2 inch square mat. Next up some figures, 15mm, either colonial or sci-fi, or both(!). I think these rules can be amended to sci-fi easily enough.

    Be Happy and Carry On! Life is Good.


    P.S. Whatever happened with your school inspection? Anymore bomb-throwing twits around?

  4. Jim,

    I thought that your comment might have been tongue in cheek ... but I was not absolutely sure. That said, it does not alter one jot what I think, and the high regard that I have for your comments.

    Your comments have given me pause for thought, and my next blog entry will be based around what you have said, and some of the ways I can address the subject you have raised.

    All the best,


    PS. The inspection has become a bit of a farce. We know the result – unofficially – but have yet to be told officially what needs to be done. The result is absolute chaos, with senior managers who are in the ‘know’ expecting staff to do things that they do not understand because they have not be told why they have to do them. All this is being played out against a background of growing gang violence in the local area and the ‘disappearance’ of some of the students whilst they are in jail on remand and awaiting trial for various offences!

    It all makes for an interesting life.

  5. Hi Bob,

    Just to let you know - Chris Hardman and myself tried out the 19th Century Morschauser last night using his singly based 28mm early WW1 French and Germans. It went really well and I will be emailing you with a whole list of points, observations and suggestions and some pictures!

    I am really excited about the potential of this system and the many differing uses it can be put to.

    All the best,


  6. Ogrefencer,

    I look forward to seeing how it went and to read your suggestions.

    The thing about simple rules - like DBA, HoTT, and now Morschauser - is that they are so adaptable.

    All the best,



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